Sidewalk Sale

The Lawrence Sidewalk Sale is something that can best be described as Christmas in July. I had the butterflies in my stomach on Sidewalk Sale eve; went to bed early so Santa the sales could arrive; and woke at an obnoxious hour to celebrate. Yes, I was that excited for this annual event, mostly because this was my first experience with it.

Mr.Mass made a surprise checklist for me, so I wouldn't forget anything at 5am.

The early morning darkness couldn't suppress the buzz of excitement on Mass St.

The Lawrence Sidewalk Sale is an annual event, since 1960. It always lands on the third Thursday in July, and takes place (mainly) on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. From sunup to sundown, shoppers walk the streets in search of the hottest deals. Downtown businesses are equally excited for the day since it’s an opportunity for them to clear out their surplus merchandise from the past year. While the actual event takes place for one day only, businesses often extend the sale throughout the entire week, to¬†accommodate¬†shoppers.

First stop: Gap at 5:30am.

Some businesses handed out free water.

Since I didn’t head to any shops before Thursday, I knew I needed to have a solid game plan the day of. Luckily, many businesses advertise (in the LJ World and Twitter) what time they plan to open. Most businesses were opening as early as 5am or 6am! I had a small time frame to work with – I planned on shopping from 5:30am-7am – and scheduled to hit Gap, Hobbs, Foxtrot and Weaver’s.

I ran out at 5:30am, eager to hit the streets. While I wasn’t sure what to expect, I was a little surprised to see the streets so quiet (despite the buzz of energy that was all around). Throughout the morning I made it to Gap, Hobbs, Third Planet, Phoenix Gallery, Weaver’s, and Foxtrot. It was all a blur, but so much fun to weave through the crowds and see so many happy faces so early. I had hoped the early morning hours would provide a break from the thick humidity we’ve been experiencing, but that wasn’t the case. I had checked the weather around 6:30am, and while the temperature was 76 degrees, the relative humidity was 80 percent! It was difficult not to notice, but the shops kept me slightly distracted.

A group of gals was eager to pounce once Foxtrot opened its doors.

Weaver's Department Store setup shop around 6:30am, with the sunrise.

Overall, it was an exciting morning. A couple of favorite moments to note: I saw a guy, strolling up and down the streets in a bathrobe(!) and enjoyed the humorous one-liners via megaphone from the Sunflower guys, hanging out on the street with kayaks. While the sales were nice, I have to admit, they weren’t 5:30am nice, so next year I might sleep in a bit and catch the deals later in the day. But I didn’t walk home empty handed, either. I snagged two dresses from Third Planet – both originally $42, marked down to $25. Also, I found some pretty blue sandals at Foxtrot, originally $109, I picked them up for $55. So you can see, there were deals to be had, but these were the best I came across.

Did you hit up the Sidewalk Sale this year? Any good purchases? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. If you care to see more photos of the 2012 event, check out the LJ World’s photo recap. Also, interesting pole shows how much people spent at the Sidewalk Sale this year. I think the heat affected the overall turnout, but still, lots of bargain hunters out there! I raise my glass to you guys. Cheers, until next year.


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